The name of a Senior Divisional Officer SDO who once served in Mezam has been making rounds in Bamenda of late following a stand-off over the boundaries between Nkwen in Bamenda III and Bamendakwe in Bamenda I. Marche Njouwet Joseph Betrand currently SDO for Wouri Division in the littoral region is being accused by Nkwen people of closing his eyes over what they described as a dubious plan to seed their parcels of land to Bamendakwe with outright disrespect for colonial and even administrative boundaries.
The accusations got to its peak January 2, when the Bamenda City Council showed up to demolish a building on a piece of land along the now known new road up station. The demolition of part of the building that January 2 sparked a protest from Nkwen youths which ended up assembling over a hundred of them on the site with placards denouncing illegal occupation of their land.
Talking to Atanga Collins the house owner earmarked for demolition, he told The Guardian Post that the land on which he was constructing was given to him by the Fon of Nkwen shortly after which he applied for a building permit from the City Council which till date has not been given. According to him, the delay in the issuance of his building permit was because the people of Bamendakwe were laying claim to the land. At the City Council, The Director of Urban Development tells this reporter that “this man has submitted a document requesting a building permit but we discovered the file was incomplete. He does not have a land tittle so he cannot just go ahead to build…..the law will have to take its course.”
The rumour of the demolition also prompted the blockage of the City Council dump site located in Mbelewa Nkwen by the village youths an act the Fon described as uncalled for but maintains that there is a law on land expropriation in Cameroon which has not been respected over the dump site but locking the site was not necessary.
Reacting to the issue and the actions of his subject to stage a protest against the City Council, the Fon of Nkwen HRM Azehfor III told this reporter in his palace that it was out of emotions that they did that but he had cautioned them to be calm. He however maintained that the said piece of land under dispute was property of the Nkwen people and he is the custodian reason why he gave part of it to one of his subject to construct his house but unfortunately it is emerging that it is Bamendakwe land but certainly it is not true. While maintaining that the said area is Nkwen land, Fon Azehfor III promised to protect Nkwen land under his custody for as long as he can pursuing all avenues be they administrative or legal stating that there is no problem if anyone from Bamendakwe owns land in Nkwen but there is  problem if such a person start claiming that the land is within Bamendakwe Village. The Fon regretted that people are parading land tittles for the area but showing different names to the quarter he and Nkwen people call Bayelle instead of Ntenefor or Bangshie as referred to by the different land title holders.
The administration has been on the matter involving representatives of both villages, the Mayors, DO and the SDO for Mezam.
Addressing the issues on a widely listened program Press and Associates on NDEFCAM radio in Bamenda Saturday January 12; several issues emerged from the story. First it was the Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council Ndumu Nji Vincent who explained that he had a land tittle for that piece of land just like many others around the city and so no amount of protest and public ranting could change the situation.
The current SDO for Wourri’s name is repeatedly featuring in high level conversations as the one who poorly managed the issues.
We are following the issue.
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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